From Paul Graham’s “Why TV Lost” (Paul Graham: March 2009):
The somewhat more surprising force was one specific type of innovation: social applications. The average teenage kid has a pretty much infinite capacity for talking to their friends. But they can’t physically be with them all the time. When I was in high school the solution was the telephone. Now it’s social networks, multiplayer games, and various messaging applications. The way you reach them all is through a computer. Which means every teenage kid (a) wants a computer with an Internet connection, (b) has an incentive to figure out how to use it, and (c) spends countless hours in front of it.
This was the most powerful force of all. This was what made everyone want computers. Nerds got computers because they liked them. Then gamers got them to play games on. But it was connecting to other people that got everyone else: that’s what made even grandmas and 14 year old girls want computers.